Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sneaky Bitch

"But I am at the desk upstairs, writing.
And the garden is here outside my window,
filled with fellow citizens sipping lattes
and driving Toyotas.
and I am trying
to become dangerous."

I face a wall trying
to pluck words
from my head
to feather a poem.

 No, it’s not a metaphor,
 or grand drama of a poet.

The only place a desk
will fit in my bedroom
is a claustrophobic corner
of green walls.

Frustration is a sneaky bitch.
She directs me to a book
written by a favorite poet,
and reminds me I’m surrounded
by the color of envy.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

Real Toads ~ Instructions For Living a Life


  1. Love the ending of this - the green wall by the desk. I too am often envious by the talent around me. I often say, I wish I had written that. I wish I had written this.

  2. This made me smile....the green walls and feelings. But Susie, we all feel that when we read YOUR work! Maybe your desk should go under the window and the bed in the corner!

  3. Love the green with envy reference.Some of the best poets on the planet are bloggers, far better than the recognised literary luminaries whom we are supposed to revere...We should be envious:)

    and I am trying
    to become dangerous

    Ha...gave me a laugh!

  4. I love the mind image painted by the "feather[ing of] a poem." And all that green-eyed monster, staring... totally understandable.

    Neruda lives! 💚

  5. This is absolutely stunning!😊 And ofcourse where there is talent there is envy .. everyone knows you are the best!!!💜💜

  6. Oh.. I want to give you a high five on this one, Susie! Firstly, your chosen poet is one i am not familiar with but the taste has me wanting to explore more of his work, and really, I just love the whole set up and tone of your poem. Superb! I'm feeling quite green with envy myself.

  7. So many ideas about green...certainly one of my favorite colors...I love your write.

  8. This is a fun kind of write, I've done a few if I could find. We do write a lot flavored by surroundings. When we were in Valparaiso December 2016 we visited Neruda's hilltop home, now a museum. Gorgeous garden now, but lots of tourists. For a peak at his house see Item # (4) in my post here:

  9. Aha, that is such an interesting perspective to reading your favourite poem/poet — that frustration and envy drive our own curiosity and creativity. I loved the tone and flow of it. I am just smiling at this clever thought:
    "No, it’s not a metaphor,/or grand drama of a poet."

  10. Somehow this reminds me of something I heard an AA old-timer once say -- "if you wonder where your God went, ask yourself who moved." The creator's dilemma is that we are readers moved to emulation -- just how do we too draw poems from our scabbard so sharp, so ... dangerous? We learn how watching others one their poems. Sadly I'm deeply read in many older (mostly now dead) poets, very limited in the current fray (mostly through the Best American Poetry anthologies). I think I would find is that there are a few major lights in the canon (like Neruda) which have been endlessly reflected in the work of others. Only pride (or jealousy) keeps me from admitting that mine is moonlight of greater suns. Well done.